Summary

  • Birds of Prey #9 r
    eimagines the iconic “Fastball Special” from Marvel’s
    X-Men
    with Big Barda and Cassandra Cain, showcasing their unique bond which allows them to perfectly combine their strength and combat skills in the middle of battle.
  • The friendship between Barda and Cassandra evokes similarities to Colossus and Wolverine, adding depth to DC’s homage to the Marvel duo’s classic maneuver.
  • DC’s latest version of the Fastball Special, as showcased in
    Birds of Prey
    #9, adds a fresh twist to the classic move as the duo of Big Barda and Cassandra make it their own.



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Warning: Spoilers for Birds of Prey (2023) #9 ahead!


The ‘Fastball Special’ is an iconic X-Men move – one that other publishers can’t help putting their own spin on from time to time, as is the case in the latest issue of Birds of Prey. DC has found the perfect cast for their version of this classic technique, pairing an underappreciated Justice League powerhouse with one of Gotham’s deadliest brawlers, recreating the iconic attack to brilliant effect.

In Birds of Prey (2023) #9, the titular team has jumped into a mysterious portal to go after a kidnapped Barbara Gordon, only to find themselves in an alternate Gothic version of Gotham with many of their tools and powers missing. While they are quick to find Barbara trapped in a pit, Cassandra Cain notices that they are being stalked from above by strange batlike monsters.

Big Barda throws Cassandra Cain at a giant bat, recreating Marvel's "Fastball Special" technique.


Thinking quickly, Big Barda hurls Cassandra at the offending creatures in an impromptu “Fastball Special,” buying the team enough time to come to Barbara’s rescue.

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The Birds of Prey Perfectly Recreate Marvel’s Fastball Special

Birds of Prey #9 – Written By Kelly Thompson; Art By Jonathan Case & Gavin Guidry; Color By Jordie Bellaire, & Lettering By Clayton Cowles

Big Barda is the perfect choice as the pitcher for the Birds of Prey’s version of the Fastball Special….Likewise, Cassandra Cain makes the perfect Wolverine stand-in.


First appearing in X-Men (1963) #100, the “Fastball Special” is an infamous X-Men team attack in which Colossus hurls Wolverine as a projectile at the unfortunate target. The move has become a beloved staple of X-Men stories in the years since, with various characters poking fun at it or at times even trying their own variations on the technique. In this case, DC has found the best possible substitutes for Colossus and Wolverine in Big Barda and Cassandra Cain, who work together to put their own stamp on the iconic move.

Big Barda is the perfect choice as the pitcher for the Birds of Prey’s version of the Fastball Special. While a relatively minor DC character, Barda’s background as a New God of Apokolips means her strength is on the same scale as titans like Wonder Woman or Superman, leading her to assist the Justice League reserves when extra muscle is required. Likewise, Cassandra Cain makes the perfect Wolverine stand-in: like Logan, she is simultaneously small in stature and one of the deadliest hand-to-hand combatants in her franchise, making up where she lacks in adamantium claws with her speed and skill.


[Big Barda and Cassandra Cain’s friendship] echoes Colossus and Wolverine’s friendship, as two of the X-Men’s frontline fighters have the very same connection that gave rise to the Fastball Special to begin with.

The Birds Of Prey Have The Fastball Special X-Factor: Friendship

Big Barda cheers Cassandra Cain on as the two fight vampires together.

What elevates this homage in Birds of Prey #9 into a true Fastball Special is the friendship between Barda and Cassandra – the two warriors have bonded through combat from the series’ very first issue, with Barda taking to affectionately calling Cassandra “Small Bat.” This echoes Colossus and Wolverine’s friendship, as two of the X-Men’s frontline fighters have the very same connection that gave rise to the Fastball Special to begin with. Hopping from the Justice League to the Birds of Prey, Big Barda’s team-up with Cassandra Cain has finally given DC its own authentic version of the X-Men’s classic Fastball Special.



Birds of Prey
#9


is now available from DC.

Birds of Prey #9 (2024)

Birds of Prey #9 cover, Barbara Gordon falls through a portal and reaches for Black Canary and other Birds of Prey.

  • Writer: Kelly Thompson
  • Artists: Jonathan Case, Gavin Guidry
  • Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
  • Letterer: Clayton Cowles
  • Cover Artists: Leonardo Bastos Romero, Jordie Bellaire

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